2020 graduation in Hawkins Stadium is a possibility because of this petition


Kaitlyn Schafer, Reviews, Features. and Editorials editor

Lately, many members of the Class of 2020 have been understandably on edge when it has come to graduation announcements. At first, many thought graduation would be cancelled, then it was announced on Schoology that it would be postponed sometime during the summer.

The date had been officially moved to Aug. 1, however, the location was said to be in the Manatee Convention Center, not Hawkins Stadium. This location was chosen to escape the summer heat and for rain uncertainties rather than for the virus, which many think will have died down by this time.

One senior, Shelby Eikel, decided to take action to try and get the Class of 2020’s say in this decision, so she created a petition on change.org, where over 2,000 people have signed to have the event kept in the stadium.

Eikel has emailed both Cynthia Saunders, the Superintendent of Manatee County schools, and Manatee principal David Underhill about the petition. While nothing is yet for certain, a survey was later released on Schoology solely for seniors asking for their opinions, which may serve as a good sign for those seniors wishing for this location change.

“I basically started it because growing up I’ve watched all my cousins and close friend walk across the field and it was always something I wanted to do. Manatee is built on the ideology of tradition and this is one of longest standing traditions. I’ve had people comment on the petition that are alumni from the 1980s and how much they loved it and appreciated it. Also, growing up we have always been told we are the future and our voice matters, so I wanted to speak up for all of us and say what we believe it. I’ve had many students tell me they didn’t want to go to their high school graduation if it was at the convention center so I felt it was my responsibility to fight for what was right so we can enjoy our very last moment all together before we embark on our next chapter!” stated Eikel.